The way Aotearoa New Zealand's health system is structured and health services are delivered is changing.
Why is the health system being reformed?
The public health and disability system has significant and ongoing issues in delivering equity and consistency for everyone. Demand for health services will keep growing, due to an ageing population, advances in care and many more people having chronic health conditions.
The health system changes are being made to meet these future challenges and to make sure all New Zealanders get the health services they need.
What is aim of new health system?
The new health system will be a single health service with the aim of providing consistent, high-quality health services for everyone. The changes are designed to improve equity of access to care, particularly for groups that have not had their health needs well met in the past.
Instead of a ‘postcode lottery’ of who gets what care, the aim is to have more consistency around the country for hospital and specialist services, with primary and community care provided locally. This should improve care quality and equity, while ensuring the services you get close to home reflect the needs of your community.
What will the new health system look like?
Under the new system:
- the Ministry of Health will be focused on policy, strategy and regulation
- a new body, Health NZ, will replace the 20 DHBs and take over planning and commissioning of services to remove duplication and provide national planning
- a Māori Health Authority will work alongside Health NZ to improve services and achieve equitable health outcomes for Māori, and to directly commission tailored health services for Māori
- a new Public Health Agency within the Ministry of Health, and a strengthened, national public health service within Health NZ, will be developed to make sure Aotearoa New Zealand is always ready to respond to threats to public health, like pandemics.
When will the changes come into effect?
The changes will be implemented from 1 July 2022.
Our health and disability system Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NZ, 2021
Frequently asked questions Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NZ, 2021
Resources in English and te reo Māori about different aspects of the health system changes Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NZ, 2021